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Friday, September 12, 2008

Athletes Who Should Wear Their Nicknames

Athletes Who Should Wear Their Nicknames

The fearsome marketing wing of the NFL rose up this weekend and brought the smack down on the receiver formerly known as Chad Johnson. If you missed it, Johnson legally changed his name to become Chad Ocho Cinco, a jarring collision of English, Spanish and poor grammar, no matter which language you prefer. Naturally, Ocho Cinco wanted to wear a jersey with "Ocho Cinco" on the back, but the League refused, saying Mr. Cinco had a "financial obligation" to Reebok, which probably doesn’t want to be left with a few thousand irrelevant "JOHNSON 85" jerseys sitting around their warehouse.
It's all light and fun, until you consider that SeƱor Ocho Cinco may no longer even be good enough (he had a whopping 1 catch on Sunday) to warrant a (self-imposed) nickname on his jersey. Here are my top five players who should have been allowed to wear their nickname on their jerseys ...

1. MAGIC -- These days he goes by Mr. Johnson, but a Laker jersey with MAGIC across the back would be a huge seller.

2. TO -- After watching him on Hard Knocks all fall, I fell like we’re seeing a different Terrell Owens than the one who fractured teams and had to have his stomach pumped. Maybe he should celebrate by rocking a nickname on his shirt.

3. HUSTLE -- Pete Rose was commonly known as Charlie Hustle -- imagine the popularity of a jersey with HUSTLE across the back, particularly in hip-hop videos.

4. REFRIGERATOR -- William Perry came along about two decades early.

5. THREE FINGER -- Mordecai Brown was better known as "Three Finger" Brown, one of the coolest and strangest nicknames ever.

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